Madhu Pandit - Krishna voice 2009 01(jan)


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Madhu Pandit Dasa the president of ISKCON Bangalore | Madhu Pandit the chairman of The Akshaya Patra Foundation.

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Madhu Pandit - Krishna voice 2009 01(jan)

  1. 1. Vol 10, No. 1 Jan 2009 Rs.15 Sri Sri Radha Vrindavana-chandra, Vrindavana
  2. 2. Vol 10, No.1 Jan 2009 CONTENTS Nothing More To Achieve 4 Srila Prabhupada Speaks Out 10 Thakur Haridas Part III 12 His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Srila Prabhupada On Science 17 Swami Prabhupada, founder- acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, came to America in 1965, at age 69, to fulfill his spiritual master’s request that he teach the science of Krishna consciousness throughout the English- Published and owned by Sankirtana Seva speaking world. In a dozen years he Trust, editing by Chamari Devi Dasi. Layout, published some seventy volumes of design and graphics by ISKCON Design Group, translation and commentary on India’s Bangalore. For all information contact: Vedic literature, and these are now Editor, Krishna Voice, SST, Hare Krishna Hill, standard in universities worldwide. Chord Road, Bangalore - 560 010 INDIA, Meanwhile, travelling almost nonstop, Phone: 91-80-2347 1956, 91-80-2357 8346, Srila Prabhupada moulded his FAX: 91-80-2357 8625. © 2009 Sankirtana international society into a world wide Seva Trust, Bangalore. All Krishna art and confederation of ashramas, schools, the works of Srila Prabhupada are © BBT temples and farm communities. He International. All rights reserved throughout passed away in 1977, in Vrindavana, the world. Reproduction in any manner is strictly prohibited. Printed for ISKCON, the place most sacred to Lord Krishna. Bangalore, at Manipal Printers (P) Ltd., His disciples and followers are carrying Manipal forward the movement he started. Cover pages-4 Text pages-20Krishna Voice, Jan 2009 3
  3. 3. Nothing More To Achieve Pure love for God is its own reward A lecture given in New York City, November 30, 1966 By His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada Founder-Acarya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness daridrya-nasa, bhava-ksaya,—premera phala naya prema-sukha-bhoga—mukhya prayojana haya"The goal of love of Godhead is not to become materially rich or free from material bondage. The real goal is tobe situated in devotional service to the Lord and to enjoy transcendental bliss." —Chaitanya-charitamrita, Madhya-lila 20.142We should not expect that by our devotional service to Krishna our miserable material condition will improve, orthat we will be liberated from material entanglement. Thinking in that way is a kind of sense gratification. Yogisand jnanis, or impersonalistic speculators, try to become free from material entanglement. But in devotional servicethere is no such desire, because devotional service is pure love. In pure devotional service one has no expectationthat "I shall be profited in this way." Devotional service is not a profitable commercial business where one thinks,"Unless I get something in return, I shall not practice devotional service in Krishna consciousness."Lord Chaitanya prays to Lord Krishna: na dhanam na janam na sundarim kavitam va jagad-isa kamaye mama janmani janmanisvare bhavatad bhaktir ahaituki tvayi"O my dear Lord, Jagadisha, supreme master of all the worlds, I pray unto You that I do not want any wealth, Ido not want any number of followers, I do not want a very nice wife.""Then what do you want?""My dear Lord, I may be put into any condition of life, but please bestow this benediction: that I may not forgetYou. Thats all. Due to my forgetfulness I am suffering so much. So if I can remember You, I dont mind anycondition."Janmani janmani means "birth after birth." Lord Chaitanya does not even want liberation. Lord Krishna says, mamupetya tu kaunteya punar janma na vidyate: "One who reaches the kingdom of God hasnt got to come back againto take birth here." But Lord Chaitanya does not even aspire to reach the kingdom of God.Lord Chaitanya gives us the proper understanding, confirming the teachings of Lord Krishna. In the sixth chapterof the Bhagavad-gita, while explaining the yoga system Lord Krishna says, yam labdhva caparam labham manyatenadhikam tatah: "One who achieves the perfection of yoga has no other desire to achieve."We may achieve something in the material world, but that does not stop our desire to achieve something more. Imay achieve millions of dollars, but that does not make me satisfied. I want more—ten million dollars. And whenI get ten million dollars, then I desire a hundred million dollars. But one who possesses devotional service doesnot think anything in the world more valuable.Krishna consciousness is not different from Krishna. Therefore a Krishna conscious person possesses Krishna,and what can be greater than Krishna? So a Krishna conscious person is fully satisfied. And Lord Krishna furthersays, yasmin sthito na duhkhena gurunapi vicalyate: "One situated in Krishna consciousness is not shaken despitethe severest type of miseries."A Krishna conscious person is steady in all circumstances. Prahlada Maharaja was a great devotee even as afive-year-old boy.Prahladas atheistic father told him, "Oh, you rascal boy. You are chanting Gods name? Who is God? I am God.Why dont you chant my name? If you dont, then I shall throw you into the fire."But Prahlada was steady. He said, "Father, I cannot stop chanting.""You nonsense! You cannot? How dare you speak to me like this? Even the demigods are afraid of me.""Oh, yes, father, I speak like this by the mercy of the same person who allows you to speak."Krishna Voice, Jan 2009 5
  4. 4. "Oh, I dont care for anyones mercy ..."Prahladas father had so much wrath, but Prahlada was steady. That steadiness is one of the characteristics of apure devotee of the Lord. Even in the greatest difficulty, even in the greatest danger, he is not shaken; he is steady.That is the perfection of yoga. And that steadiness can be achieved easily by Krishna consciousness.So we should not aspire to improve our material condition or to attain liberation. To aspire in that way means wehave material desires. Some people say that we must become desireless. But because I am a living entity, desirecannot be completely absent. So my desire should be not to forget Krishna. Thats all—that one desire. That isreal desire. And all other desires are foolish. We cannot be desireless, but we should have only bona fide desires.I am part and parcel of the Supreme. So if I desire to work in cooperation with the Supreme, that is a natural desire.That is desirelessness. In the material condition, to desire to eat is natural. As long as you possess a body, youhave to eat. No one will criticize you for your desire to eat.So desirelessness means to desire the natural thing. To desire remembrance of Krishna is natural. Since I am partand parcel of Krishna, how can I forget Him? But somehow I have forgotten Him, and my forgetfulness is the causeof my many desires. And as soon as I desire Krishna, there will be no other desire. That is desirelessness.As part and parcel of the whole, we get our highest pleasure by reciprocating with the whole. That reciprocationwe should aspire after. We should not think that in Krishna consciousness we should desire some material profit.In the next verse, Lord Chaitanya says: veda-sastre kahe sambandha, abhidheya, prayojana Krishna, Krishna-bhakti, prema,— tina maha-dhana"In the Vedic literature, Krishna is the central point of attraction, and His service is our activity. To attain the platformof love of Krishna is lifes ultimate goal. Therefore Krishna, Krishnas service, and love of Krishna are the threegreat riches of life."Now we aspire to possess something material. But as this verse explains, we should aspire to possess Krishna,to reciprocate with Krishna, and ultimately to love Krishna. In the material world we see a reflection of love in theexchange between two lovers. They dont want anything besides each other. He wants her, and she wants him.But that relationship is only a perverted reflection of real love, which is reciprocated with Krishna.In the material world there is no possibility of love. What is called love is lust. But we call it love because it is areflection of love. Love of Krishna is real, and love in the material world is unreal. Lust is like the shadow, and loveis the reality. There is gulf of difference between the shadow and the reality.A devotee is not anxious for liberation, because he is liberated in his intimate connection with Krishna. One cannotbe in intimate touch with Krishna unless one is liberated. So liberation and intimate connection with Krishna arethe same thing. Lord Krishna says: yesam tv anta-gatam papam jananam punya-karmanam te dvandva-moha-nirmukta bhajante mam drdha-vratahWhat is the translation?Devotee [reading]: "But those men of virtuous deeds whose sin has come to an end, freed from the delusion ofdualities, worship Me steadfastly avowed."Srila Prabhupada: Yes. So to worship Krishna steadfastly means one is liberated from delusion. That is calledmukti. One who still has some doubt—"Why shall I worship Krishna?"—is still in delusion, and the reactions ofhis sinful life are not finished. If one has a slight doubt, that means there is still a slight tinge of sinful reaction.One free from all sinful reactions has no more duality. Duality means thinking, "Shall I stick to the process ofKrishna consciousness or not?" One free from sinful reactions has firm faith—"Yes! Krishna worship is the finalgoal."One who worships Krishna is already liberated. For example, if a man is sitting on the bench of the high court, itis to be understood that he has passed all the educational requirements and is a good lawyer. There is no needto ask whether he has passed his M.A. or his law examination. Similarly, if one is strictly in Krishna consciousness,it is to be understood that he is liberated.The definition of liberation is given in the Srimad-Bhagavatam: muktir hitvanyatha rupam svarupena vyavasthitih.We each have different conceptions of life. I have one idea, you have another idea, and another person has anotheridea. Mukti means to be free from these different ideas and be situated in our constitutional position.And what is our constitutional position? We are part and parcel of the Supreme, Krishna. Then what is our duty?6 Krishna Voice, Jan 2009
  5. 5. The duty of the part is to serve the whole. Your hand is part of your body, and its duty is to serve the body. Similarly,because you are part and parcel of the Supreme, your duty is to serve Him. You have no other duty. One whounderstands this point firmly and with conviction is liberated.Now, someone may ask, "Oh, how can you say such a person is liberated? He goes to the office. He dresses likean ordinary man. What do you mean he is liberated?"But does mukti mean that a person must dress differently or have four hands or eight legs? No. All that is requiredis a change of consciousness. Krishna consciousness means a change of consciousness. We now think, "I amthis matter. I have got so many duties within the material world." In Krishna consciousness you change thatthinking—"No, I belong to Krishna. I am part and parcel of Krishna; therefore my whole energy should be usedfor Krishna."That kind of thinking is Krishna consciousness. Now I apply all my energy to the material conception of life. WhenI apply my energy—transcendental energy—to Krishna, I am liberated.Therefore a pure devotee of Krishna does not hanker after mukti. Bilvamangala Thakura, a great devotee ofKrishna, says, muktih svayam mukulitanjalih sevate sman: "Oh, the mukti lady stands with folded hands and asks,My dear sir, what can I do for you? " And the devotee doesnt care. "Oh, what can you do for me? I dont wantyour help."Bilvamangala Thakura lived for several years in Vrindavana, and he became a great devotee of Krishna. The storyof his life is instructive.In the beginning of his life Bilvamangala was an impersonalist. He was a South Indian brahmana, a very rich man,and very sensuous. He had an ongoing relationship with a prostitute. He was so devoted to the prostitute that evenwhile attending his fathers funeral he was asking the priest, "Please make haste. I have to go. I have to go."After the ceremony Bilvamangala took very nice food in a bag and left for the prostitutes house. When he cameout of his home, it was raining in torrents. But he didnt care about the rain. He had to cross a river, but there wasno boat. Even though the waves were furious, he swam across the river.The prostitute thought, "Oh, it is raining, so he may not come." So she blocked the door and went to sleep.When Bilvamangala came to the house, he saw that the door was locked. It was still raining. To pull himself overthe wall into her courtyard, he grabbed a snake. Just see how intensely he was attached to the prostitute.When Bilvamangala went to the prostitute, she was astonished."Bilvamangala, how do you dare come here like this?"So he described his journey. "Yes. I did this, I did this, I did this, I did this."Chintamani, the prostitute, said, "My dear Bilvamangala, you have such intense love for me. If you had the samelove for Krishna, how sublime your life would be!""Oh, yes. You are right." Her words struck him. He left at once.He began to travel to Vrindavana, but he became attracted to a woman on the way, and he followed her. Shebelonged to a respectable family. When she arrived at home, she told her husband, "This man is following me.Please ask him what he wants."The husband asked Bilvamangala, "My dear sir, you appear to be a very nice gentleman and to belong to a veryaristocratic family. What do you want? Why you are following my wife?"Bilvamangala said, "Because I want to embrace her.""Oh, you want to embrace her? Come on. Embrace her. You are welcome."The brahmana told his wife, "He is a guest. He wants to embrace you and kiss you. So please decorate yourselfnicely so that he may enjoy."The woman followed her husbands instructions.When Bilvamangala came inside before the woman, he said, "My dear mother, will you kindly give me yourhairpins?""Yes. Why?""I have got some business."Then he took the hairpins and pierced his eyes—"Oh, these eyes are my enemy." He became blind. He thought,Krishna Voice, Jan 2009 7
  6. 6. "Now no more shall I be disturbed."Then he went to Vrindavana, and he performed penance and austerities there. Krishna as a boy came to him."Oh, my dear sir, why are you starving? Why dont you take some milk?""Who are you, my dear boy?""I am a cowherd boy of this village. If you like, I can give you milk daily.""All right."So Krishna supplied him milk. There was friendship between them.And Bilvamangala has written, "Bhakti is such that mukti is nothing for me." In other words, he thinks, "WhenKrishna comes to supply milk, oh, then what is the use of mukti?"You see? Thats a great soul—Bilvamangala Thakura. It is worth remembering his name. He has written a nicebook, Krishna-karnamrita, a very authoritative book. Lord Chaitanya found the book in South India, and Herecommended that all His devotees read it.Thank you very much.8 Krishna Voice, Jan 2009
  7. 7. SRILA PRABHUPADA SPEAKS OUT "We Must Have A Definite Process" Here is an exchange between His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and an official from animpersonalist ("God-is-simply-everyone-and-everything") movement. The exchange took place in Paris, on August 13, 1973, with Prabhupadas disciples translating the officials remarks from French.Official: Personally, I do not like the idea Therefore, I want to know what are theof killing animals. principles—the rules and regulations—Srila Prabhupada: But what is the ideal of the order.of your order? That I am asking. Official: Our principles are love, beauty,Official: Love between men. harmony, peace. And as you progress,Understanding. one initiation after another. If you begin as a butcher, then gradually, in yourSrila Prabhupada: What have the own self, you will wish to give itanimals done? There is no love or up. But there are no rules.understanding shown to them. Srila Prabhupada: "OneOfficial: I love the animals. I have many initiation after another,"animals living with me. Im surrounded by but there are noanimals. [Laughter.] progressiveSrila Prabhupada: That is nice. But a rules?person who is habituated to kill Official:animals—will he be admitted into your Our orderorder? doesntOfficial: I dont think someone who requirekills animals would like to enter, but that youif a butcher wants to enter, that isall right, because gradually we willelevate him.Srila Prabhupada: Then, inprinciple, the order does notallow animal killing?Official: Ideally, our movementwould not want to seeanimals killed, or anyonekilled.Srila Prabhupada:
  8. 8. give up meat-eating. Our order is intelligent. If we were Srila Prabhupada: But, for instance, the Bible imposesto tell people, "Dont do this, dont do this, dont do that," the rule or regulation "You shall not kill." Yet you havenobody would join us. In any case, the real mystic is no such thing.someone who has controlled his own body. Official: Realization is what counts.Srila Prabhupada: But you cannot explain how to Srila Prabhupada: Yes, but what that realization is youcontrol the body. cannot explain. If you cannot explain, then what is yourOfficial: It happens immediately, or it will happen in a realization?while. Official: Had I not realized something, I would not beSrila Prabhupada: At least I cannot accept this. We here now.could discuss further if you had some definite program. Srila Prabhupada: Then first let us see whether youSay I want to enter your association. You must give me can describe who you are.some prescription by which, if I follow, Ill make progress. Official: When Moses saw the burning bush and askedBut you have no such prescription. the fire, "Who are you?" the fire said, "I am what I am."Official: I shall submit to my grandmaster your request Who am I? That is a question you are going to have tofor a specific prescription to be given to you. answer by your own meditations.Srila Prabhupada: But, in principle, your order hasnt Srila Prabhupada: But what is your meditation? Whatgot any such prescription. have you learned?Official: We will make one special, just for you. Official: The thing to realize is peace. When you joinSrila Prabhupada: But not for the general mass of our order, you receive a letter, and at the bottom of thepeople. letter, it says, "With our best wishes for your peace andOfficial: Correct. It is very good that you prescribe no happiness."meat-eating, no intoxicants, no premarital or extramarital Srila Prabhupada: Thats all right. Everyone wants, and so on. These are nice principles that you are But what is the process?following. And we are sure that you have come to these Official: Praying, courage, faith. A serious movement,conclusions—on your own—just as perhaps one day a serious order, would never guarantee instantaneouswe may also come to these conclusions—on our own. illumination.Srila Prabhupada: So for the time being, your order Srila Prabhupada: No, that we also say. But we musthas no such rules and regulations? have a definite process. For instance, in answer to theOfficial: Our order makes certain suggestions, but we question "Who are you?"—because at least one mustdo not oblige anyone to follow our suggestions. know who he is—you gave the vague reply "I am whatSrila Prabhupada: What are those suggestions? I am." If you ask me, "Who are you, sir?" and I say, "I am what I am," is that the proper answer? [Laughter.]Official: Our movement suggests that people live a life That is a nonsense perhaps yours is—of purity, pure thoughts, moralliving, and even following certain principles. Official: I could tell you my name, but the interior, the reality, is different. Now, if we all join together in silenceSrila Prabhupada: But these impure things are going and we enter into ourselves and create one person,on all over the world, and you dont say anything. then we will know who we are—from that silence.Suppose a man is killing animals. You dont prohibithim. He is engaged in immoral life, and if you dont Srila Prabhupada: But how it is possible to remainprohibit him, then how can he become moral? Do you silent?think morality and the killing of animals go together? Disciple [in jest]: Bahunam janmanam ante: "AfterOfficial: Our order likes very much the ideals of beauty many, many births and deaths."and harmony and morality, but we cannot impose these Srila Prabhupada [laughing]: Thats all right. Thats allthings on anyone. right. Fasting Festivals Jan 21 Ekadashi Jan 10 Ratha Yatra in Bangalore Jan 22 break fast Jan 24 Ratha Yatra in Mangalore Feb 6 Ekadashi Jan 31 Ratha Yatra in Bellary Fasting till noon for Varaha Feb 2 Sri Advaita Acharya—Appearance Dev’s and Nityananda Fasting till noon Prabhu’s appearance Feb 6 Sri Varaha Deva—Appearance Fasting till noon Feb 7 Sri Nityananda Prabhu—AppearanceKrishna Voice, Jan 2009 11
  9. 9. [In Part II, Professor Sannyal described the gathering of absorption into the One is logically unsound and opposed Thakur Haridasgreat learned Pandits to hear the teachings of Srila Thakur to the real teaching of the Scriptures. The alternatives ofHaridas, at which time Gopal Chakravarti arose in offense enjoyment and abstention from enjoyment exhaust,against the Saint. Consequently, Gopal was stricken by indeed, the possibilities of function of the mind and body;leprosy—the circumstances of which will be described but they have no application to the soul who is locatedin Part III.] Part III beyond the reach of body and mind. The soul isThe world is gratuitously assumed by a pseudo-rationalism substantially different from the mind and body. The soulto be the only reality and the attempt is therefore madeto ascertain the methods by following which we can attain From the book "Sree Krishna-Chaitanya" is the substantive reality while the mind is only his perverted reflection in the mirror of limited existence. The mind is by Professor Sannyal the material shadow, so to say, of the soul who is thethe gratification of the senses, which function appears tobe the relationship naturally subsisting between ourselves enriched, deepened and broadened by more experience On the attainment of this desirable goal there is no spiritual substance. The mind is a material phenomenonand the world. The senses are assumed to be an integral and that it is worth our while to help this process in a difference between the devotee, devotion and the Object galvanised into the appearance of self-consciousness byand undetachable part of ourselves. The mind is identified conscious manner. To this the answer would be that the of devotion. The service of the Brahman is thus only a the impulse communicated to it by the deluded soul. Mindwith the senses on the one hand and with the soul on better and more detailed realization of our utter ignorance, temporary means to a final end, which means being is the shadow of the perverse soul mirrored in matter.the other. The senses connect the mind, or the soul, by in the midst of the mockery of a civilization that is claimed different from the end and is, therefore, necessarily This description is, and can be, but an imperfect andthis assumption, with the external world. The senses are to be based upon knowledge, would be a self-contradiction terminable with the attainment of the goal. It is the highest misleading analogy of the relationship that actually subsiststhe eyes of the whole system. All pain and pleasure that is not likely to appeal to the assorting instinct of our form of religion to try to realize, by the appropriate methods, between mind and soul. The shadow of the materialsuffered by the mind are due to the way in which the rational nature and is calculated to make our condition the knowledge of, and absorption into, the undifferentiated substance is not categorically different from the substancemind directs the senses in their relations with the world. no better than it is. Civilized wickedness and filth are not Brahman. When the individual soul becomes one with itself, both of them being material phenomena. TheThe mind cannot apparently know by intuition, at any rate preferable to any nuisance of the uncivilized state. Satan, the Brahman the state of separate existence and necessity shadow of the soul in this case is, however, categoricallyordinarily, all the consequences of any particular mode who may be allowed to possess the perfection of worldly for any kind of distinguishable function terminate together. different from the soul, being a material phenomenonof employment of the senses. The mind can, indeed, try culture, is probably more miserable than the uncivilized According to Gopal Chakravarti and his associates this pure and simple. The soul in his spiritual or naturalto guess about them. But it can never be quite sure about Gond. It would be difficult for the unbiased reason of man knowledge of the Brahman is higher than service and the condition is categorically different from materialany occurrence till after actual experience. This uncertainty to choose between materialistic savagery and materialistic termination of both knowledge and service is the highest phenomena. The soul is self-conscious itself. There canis supposed to be reducible to certainty if it could be civilization. goal. Gopal is quite sure that this is the only teaching of be no such thing as ignorance in the soul. There can bepossible to know from experience the uniform "laws" that the Scriptures. It may be observed at this place that no such thing as genuine self-consciousness in the mind "Ignorance is misery," says one of the wisest of proverbs. which is non-soul. The apparent self-consciousness ofare assumed to govern all phenomenal occurrences Increase of ignorance is not any decrease of misery. Shankara does not discard the principle of worship, butunder all circumstances. This hypothesis of the uniform declares its tentative necessity which is terminable on the mind is really a state of complete ignorance which is Ignorance is supposed to be the state of all empiric given its shape and color by the qualities of matter:operation of the "laws" of Nature has been built up by knowledge which is improperly assumed to be alone self-realization which, according to him, is identical withthe accumulated "experiences" of the race. But as the complete absorption into the One. grossness, limitation, perishability, changeableness, etc. available to man. Our very nature is sometimes supposed These unwholesome traits are non-existent and impossibleoccurrences themselves present an infinity of to be incapable of real enlightenment. This axiom of Thakur Haridas distinguishes between devotion, workcomplications it has not been possible to attain to anything in the soul. pessimism is exploited for advising man to turn a deaf and knowledge. The soul in the bound state desires onelike certainty in isolating the single threads of the web in ear to the Teacher of the Absolute. It is even more of two alternative functions: If he is optimistic he wants The soul is capable of forgetting his real nature, mistakingorder to be certain to reproduce all the occurrences of disastrously utilized for condemning the devotees greater scope for enjoyment. If he happens to be himself to be a material entity. The soul is not above oneNature in the Laboratory. themselves. pessimistic, he hankers for emancipation from the misery possible weakness, willful rebellion against the Truth. ItAssuming that the above object of scientific endeavour of mundane existence. is a real blunder on the part of the soul to choose to be It cannot be otherwise. The soul is in this case identified a rebel. But the soul is perfectly free to refuse to servewill be realisable in practice in the long run, its success with the mind-cum-body. Abandonment of the mind, The latter, the pessimist, sometimes thinks that realshould make it possible for us to prolong the possibility the Truth, i.e., Godhead. He thereby proves deliberately therefore, appears as equivalent to the abandonment of emancipation is impossible so long as the consciousness false to his own substantive nature, because it is theand scope of sensuous enjoyment ad infinitum. If we fail the soul, or to self-immolation. The mind seems to be our of ones being different or separate from the One be perfectly "happy" by the complete elimination of constituent function of the soul, in his natural state of all. Groping in perpetual ignorance appears as our It is to this extreme school of atheistic Vedantists, perfect spiritual existence, to be the exclusive servant of"pain" by the proper employment of the "forces" of Nature inevitable function, miscalled "Search for the Truth." advocating unification with the Brahman, that Gopalin the way that is calculated to produce such a result the Truth. The soul who rebels against Godhead is Empiric enthusiasts imaginatively describe this process Chakravarti, like most cultured people of his day as well punished by his exile to the phenomenal world and byunder the then-known "laws of Nature," our labours should as the "eternal quest." These metaphors and denunciations as of this, happened to belong by his empiricstill have really no abiding value for ourselves. But has incarceration in the double material case of mind and do not, however, help us in any way; but, on the contrary, predisposition. According to this school fruitive work leads body. This point will be further elucidated later.our "experience" up to the present moment taken us an they only tend to obstruct the process of the real quest. to empiric knowledge and the latter to the third positioninch towards the realization of unmixed or lasting pleasure? of inexpressible oneness with the Brahman. Devotion or Fruitive work and empiric knowledge are functions of theIs "pleasure" really different from "pain"? Or is it only Gopal Chakravarti is a typical brahmana of the pseudo- mind and, therefore, purely material phenomena. By Vedantic School of Shankara. He has no doubts regarding service is classed under fruitive work, which is assigneddifferent by circumstance? That which is food for the a lower position than empiric knowledge. The process of means of such work and knowledge the deluded soulgoose is food for the gander, is not found to be more true the goal of the Vedanta. According to him the attainment cannot realize his natural function for the plain reason of the Knowledge of the Brahman, Who possesses no advance to the goal of complete unification with the One,than most hypotheses. Variation, which is sought to be according to this school, is devotion (blind faith rendering that they are not his proper function at all. By means ofeliminated, is found on close inspection and analysis to distinctive function at all that is capable of being defined, work and knowledge the soul only moves in a vicious is the goal. By the attainment of the knowledge of the possible utilitarian work of a low order) (Bhakti) leadingbe itself the indispensable condition of the pleasures. We to work of a higher order (Karma), which, in its turn, leads circle of material existence which is seemingly consciousare, therefore, left inevitably to the present condition of real Nature of the Brahman, the individual soul is freed but is really one of absolute ignorance. This is the from all the miseries of his apparent existence which only up to empiric knowledge of the uselessness of allnecessary and complete ignorance in order to have any knowledge and all activity terminating in perfect absorption explanation why, by means of the undifferentiated"pleasure" at all by our dealings with the world by means seems to be limited and is, therefore, only supposed to knowledge of the Brahman, freedom from the fetters of be miserable. As there is only One Entity, the Brahman, into the One.of our senses. work and knowledge of this anomalous existence can be Who is ever free from all defects and all merits, the goal Haridas is neither a pessimist nor an optimist. He is an attained by crores of years of endeavour. This is whatIt is argued that pleasure and pain might themselves by can be no other than complete absorption into the One. absolutist. He is convinced that the theory of complete Gopal says. The delay is, however, not due to the12 Krishna Voice, Jan 2009 Krishna Voice, Jan 2009 13
  10. 10. complexity of the process, as he supposes it to be. So the pseudo-Vedantists.long as a person continues to suppose that an impersonal The point reached marks almost the limit of rationalall-pervasive Entity is the goal of knowledge one is not discussion toward the spiritual issue which is open toyet freed from the real ignorance of his spiritual function. the empiricist. He cannot proceed further withoutThis must be so, because Truth is not impersonal. discarding the method of empiricism by giving upNeither is Truth a person in the sense in which the completely the process of his unaided effort. It was notmentalists, including Shankara, apparently want us to possible for Gopal Chakravarti to retrace his steps byunderstand the term. Spiritual personality is categorically any other method. That he was not at all prepared fordifferent from the distorted empiric notion of the same. this is proved by his offensive conduct towards ThakurUntil the nature of the Personality of the Truth is properly Haridas who had, therefore, no other alternative but tograsped, one continues in the deluded state which is leave him to the mercies of Maya. But the actual goodalso the state of limitation (bondage). Therefore Gopal will of Haridas towards the offender bore its fruit in theChakravarti is right, although he is unaware of it, in swift punishment, that could be intelligible to the suffererholding that the chance of emancipation of a person himself, that smote him in the form of leprosy. Gopalwho has attained to the notion of Godhead as an was, thereby, afforded an excellent opportunity of revisingimpersonal and inactive, although all-pervasive and his impersonal doctrine. But he was of course free totranscendental, Entity, is very slight. Gopal does not avail of it or not.understand that his ideal person is also necessarily no The Godless attitude is an attitude of absolute confidenceless deluded than himself if he supposes his condition in ones own judgment and power. The atheist is not atto be the goal. all disposed to submit to another in any circumstances.The interpretation of the text relied upon by Gopal He has to be compelled to submit to non-God becauseChakravarti, said Thakur Haridas, is that of a person he can consistently submit only to compelling force.who does not understand the Nature of the Name by Such submission alone is appreciated in the state ofreason of his having no access to Him. The deluded sin and ignorance which is a radically false position andperson is no longer consciously contradicting himself necessarily entails constant irrational conduct on a reallyand is not, therefore, insincere in the sense of being rational being unnaturally disposed to accept the samedouble-tongued. He is certainly to be pitied. Neither can through the no less unnatural fear of punishment.his conduct be regarded as sincere inasmuch as it is The Holy Name of Godhead is not a thing of this world.opposed to his real nature of which he only happens to The Name of Godhead is identical with Godhead ignorant by his own conscious perversity. The empiric The Godhead appears in this world in the Form of thecasuist who affects to believe in the impersonal nature Name on the lips of His pure devotees. He appears asof the Truth is only pushing his conscious perversity of the transcendental Sound on the spiritual lips of thethe choice of untruth to its logical conclusion. If the soul in the state of grace.deliberate error is not ignored his conduct cannot beregarded as consistent, being altogether untrue. The Name of Godhead appearing on the lips of a pure devotee as the Transcendental Sound, is perceptibleGopal Chakravartis source of error lay deeper than the as such only to the spiritual ear. These statements areplane on which he stood and was, therefore, naturally likely to appear absurd and puerile to the dogmaticincomprehensible to him in his condition of cultured impersonalist. Can the soul, he will persist to ask, haveperversity. The Vaishnavas, who alone understand the lips and ears? Can the soul have senses? But—canreal cause of the worldly ailment, alone possess the the empiricist know, even if he have?true spirit of toleration. Thakur Haridas showed histoleration of the rank atheism of deluded Gopal The transcendentalists maintain that the soul has anChakravarti by abstaining from disturbing him further. infinity of senses of which the physical senses are aThis toleration really means the withdrawal of his perverted reflection. There cannot even be the shadowcauseless, apparently aggressive, mercy from a deluded of existence of the physical senses if there were nosoul whose opposition to Godhead is likely to be substantive spiritual senses. But there are also theincreased by the process. It is the greatest possible spiritual senses themselves as distinct from but notmisfortune that can befall a conditioned soul to miss the unrelated to their corresponding shadowy reflections inspecial mercy of the Vaishnava by his successful this phenomenal world. This is involved in the veryopposition to the Truth. The apparent intolerance of a definition of the Absolute. The spiritual sense isVaishnava is as helpful to a person as his tolerance of categorically different from the physical sense. Theevil. The Vaishnava never cooperates with the offending spiritual senses are perfect and self-conscious, theresoul in his sinful activities. He does not agree to be false being no interval or barrier of time or space betweento himself and his eternal Master to please the confirmed the sense and its possessor. The spiritual body isapostate. Such sympathetic toleration of evil is a grave indivisible and perfectly self-conscious in every part andoffence against the Truth notwithstanding the significant is identical with the owner of the body. All this isfact that it alone is relished by the pantheistic school of incomprehensible to us although it is perfectly consistent14 Krishna Voice, Jan 2009
  11. 11. with the fundamental principles of indivisible substantive Mazumdars.existence, that are also acceptable to the empiricist. Thakur Haridas mercifully explains that the differentThe empiricist, although he may sometimes, under concrete forms of the so-called liberation concoctedpressure of his own logic, seem to agree with the by the mentalists as their unknowable summum-bonumconclusions of transcendentalism, finds it impossible to are the outcome of the desire for sensuous gratification.adopt them in practice. The absolute conduct is not If one could live in the happy realms of Krishna describedpossible on the mundane plane to which he finds himself in the Scriptures, the empiricist supposes that such astrictly confined by his own postulates backed by the person should be enabled to enjoy more good thingsreal Deluding Potency. than are available on the Earth if his condition is reallyIf one is merely disposed to regard any sound as worth having. The same desire for extended opportunitiestranscendental, such wish alone will not make the sound of sensuous enjoyment happens also to be the realof his choice to become really transcendental. Similarly, motive behind the formulation of the other forms of theif a person is disposed to regard a transcendental Sound empiricists saved existence. The grossness of theas an occurrence of the mundane atmosphere such ideal of liberation is fully unmasked when one is toldattitude will not also affect the subjective nature of the that the salvationists "final" form is to become the equaltranscendental Sound. There is real difference between of Godhead by merging with the Object of his worship!the transcendental Sound and mundane sound. The It is to this unnatural and profane position that thetranscendental Sound is identical with the object denoted unchecked speculations of the mentalists are logicallyby the sound. The mundane sound is separated from bound to lead in the long run. Thakur Haridas ascribesthe object denoted by it by the intervals of time and the grossness of the ideal to the attitude of the empiricspace. To hear the mundane sound of the name of a thinker, the insatiable desire for sensuous pleasure.Lion is not the same thing as to see the beast. On thespiritual plane the very word Lion is identical with the The desire to enjoy is categorically different from, andanimal. The animal is fully realisable by and in the wholly incompatible with, the desire to serve, to love.hearing of his name. Whereas the real nature of the If one feels a real desire to serve Krishna he would losemundane animal, denoted by the mundane sound, ever all taste for his own enjoyment. All impurity,remains a thing unknown. unwholesomeness and misery are fortunately and mercifully ordained by the Lord as the inevitableThe Name of Krishna is identical with Godhead. But the consequence of the insatiable desire for selfishName of Krishna does not manifest Himself on mundane enjoyment. But the soul who turns away from immediatelips nor to the mundane ear. The Name Krishna appears enjoyment by considerations of greater prospectivein His Form of the Transcendental Sound on the spiritual enjoyment in the sequel, cannot also for that very reasonlips of His devotees and is heard by the spiritual ear of realize the condition of loving devotion to the Feet ofthe submissive soul by the Grace of Krishna. The Name the Lord, however strongly impressed he may professKrishna is identical with the Possessor of the Name. to be of the desirability of such a state. He is, no doubt,The Name Krishna appears to the listening ear, as He free to think that he really desires it; but at the sameis, only by degrees. As soon as the dormant soul catches time he is wholly incapable of ever attaining to it by suchthe first faint reflection of His Light he is at once desire. But, says Thakur Haridas, he may neverthelesscompletely free from the bondage of ignorance and sin. attain to love for Krishna by the Chanting of the HolyIt is the Name Who comes of His Own accord to our Name, by the Grace of the Holy Name Himself. This isfettered soul. The bound jiva, or living entity, has no the special Dispensation for the Age which is soaccess to the Presence of Krishna on his own initiative. irremediably speculative; and there is no other way openKrishnas Approach is heralded by the harbinger of Light to this Age for attaining to the loving service of Krishna.whose first glimmerings on their appearance put an endto all misconception regarding the categorical difference Haridas refers to the texts of the Scriptures to prove thebetween light and darkness. truth of his statements. This is the only proper use of the Shastras. The Shastras bear witness to the TruthUnless and until the soul becomes aware of the true of the realizations of all really pure souls.nature of spiritual existence by being so enlightened bythe Source of all consciousness, he is sure to mistake There is one other fact which is worthy of our notice.the mind for his real self and the mental function as the The Pandits of the learned assembly, headed by Hiranyaonly knowledge. If at this stage he does not wilfully shut Mazumdar, the master of the house, took the side ofhis eyes but keeps them turned towards the growing Thakur Haridas. They not only strongly censured theLight he gradually and in due course obtains the sight conduct of Gopal Chakravarti in the open assembly butof the concrete Source of all light. This is the mode of Hiranya Mazumdar thought it his duty to renounce allAppearance of the Holy Name. The sight of Krishna is further connection with a brahmana who could be guiltyalone capable of inspiring love for Krishna. This the of an act of discourtesy to the devotee of Godhead.position of Thakur Haridas as explained by himself to Nevertheless the Pandits and Mazumdar himself feltthe Pandits who were in assembly at the house of the themselves involved in the sin of Gopal Chakravarti byKrishna Voice, Jan 2009 15
  12. 12. the unhappy circumstance of their having had to hearmost reluctantly the blasphemous words uttered byGopal in their presence. For this sin the only expiation,prescribed by the Shastras, was to seek in all humilitythe pardon of Thakur Haridas, not for the offender, butfor themselves. This is not mere courtesy, but anunavoidable necessity if one really wants to serve theTruth. Any association, deliberate or accidental, withuntruth tends to obscure our vision of the Truth, Whois, indeed, a very Jealous Master. Those who aredisposed to serve the Truth with causeless, lovingdevotion, throw to the winds all considerations of ignorantpropriety or ignorant justice and are never satisfied byserving the Truth by all their senses at all times and inall circumstances. By the grace of Thakur Haridas thisinstinct of loving devotion actually manifested itself inthe conduct of those who had listened with faith to theAbsolute Truth from his pure lips.Sri Raghunathdas Goswami was a child at this time.He used to visit the Thakur in his hut during his stay atChandpur. The boy was the fortunate recipient of themercy of Thakur Haridas. This is considered by SriKrishnadas Kaviraj Goswami as the real cause ofRaghunath Dass subsequent unique devotion to theFeet of Sri Chaitanya. The mercy of a sadhu acts equallyon all persons, irrespective of age, sex or condition—all of whom have an equal chance of being benefitedby associating with a real sadhu. The interests of thesoul are not capable of being adversely affected by anyworldly conditions. The boys soul has no defect ofimmaturity any more than that of an old man theadvantage of maturity. Such maturity or immaturity hasno relevancy in ones associating with a sadhu. Theboys soul, equally with the soul of the old man, may ormay not be disposed to listen to the words of a sadhufor the genuine purpose of acting up to the same. It isas necessary for a child to associate with a sadhu asfor an adult; but in neither case can one be sure ofobtaining the mercy of the sadhu with whom he maychoose to associate. The sadhu is kind to one who isreally inclined to serve Godhead. It is the function of asadhu to foster ones inclination for the service of theLord by means of his conduct and words. The articulatedsound is, however, the sadhus unambiguous weaponto fight all un-Godliness. It should puzzle the muddledbrain of the whole race of self-conceited empiricists tounderstand why and how the sadhu need have no otherwork except talking about almost anything to whom helikes. Any person who is spoken to by a sadhu, evenfor the tiny space of a second, has every chance ofattaining the real object of life which is unattainable byinfinite endeavour by any other method. Nay, it is ourduty to listen to a real sadhu, if we are fortunate enoughto meet him, in preference to all other duties, which arenot only of secondary importance, but are a positiveobstruction on the path of the highest and only good.End—Part III16 Krishna Voice, Jan 2009
  13. 13. Srila Prabhupada On ScienceWith the support of Vedic knowledge, Srila Prabhupada challenged societys blind allegiance to modern science. By Drutakarma Dasa in 1986On a warm, sunny, dry begun the work I wasDecember morning, my now helping him carrytaxi driver turned from out.the raucous, acrid main Prabhupadas Firstroads of New Delhi into Bookthe calm, spacious, tree-lined avenues of In 1959, SrilaChanakya Puri, the Prabhupada was livingcapital citys in a small room aboveinternational quarter. As a Krishna temple in thewe entered the garden- old, crowdedbordered driveway to Chippiwada district ofthe stately Taj Palace Delhi. At that time hehotel, I pinned my wrote a slender bookconference badge on called Easy Journey tothe lapel of my dark blue Other Planets. Srilasuit jacket. A uniformed Prabhupada would laterand turbaned hotel publish dozens ofemployee with a great volumes of writings,moustache opened the including hisdoor. I stepped out and monumental translationpaid my fare in rupees of the Bhagavatato the driver. I was in Purana, or Srimad-New Delhi for the World Bhagavatam, but EasyArcheological Congress. Journey to Other Planets was his firstThe conference room book. And, significantly,was decorated in muted royal style, reminiscent of a he placed these words on the first page: "Dedicated tobygone era of Moghul opulence. Dimmed chandeliers the scientists of the world, with the blessings of Hiscast a golden glow. I sat among the archeologists, Divine Grace Sri Srimad Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvatiwaiting my turn to speak. After a brief introduction by Goswami Maharaja, my spiritual master."the section chairman, and a respectful smattering ofapplause, I stepped to the podium. My opening humor Although he dedicated his book to the scientists of thedrew some chuckles. Then, identifying myself as a world, Srila Prabhupada did not shrink from challengingmember of the Bhaktivedanta Institute, the science some of their most cherished conclusions about life andstudies branch of the International Society for Krishna the universe.Consciousness, I began to read my paper "Puranic For example, he wrote, "Krishna says in the Bhagavad-Time and the Archeological Record." gita that hundreds of thousands of years ago the GitaI looked into the eyes of the assembled scientists, and was spoken to the presiding deity of the sun, whofor the next twenty minutes argued politely but forcefully delivered the knowledge to his son Manu, from whomagainst the Darwinian view that humans evolved fairly the present generation of man has descended. Manu,recently from apes. The actual evidence, I said, favored in his turn, delivered this transcendental knowledge tothe Puranic idea that humans have been present on his son King Ikshvaku, who is the forefather of thethis planet since the beginning of creation. In other dynasty in which the Personality of Godhead appeared."words, human history extends throughout vast cycles The idea that humans on this earth are part of a largerof cosmic time, each lasting hundreds of millions of community of humanlike beings populating the universeyears. As I was speaking, I remembered my spiritual certainly contradicts the idea that we humans evolvedmaster, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami on this planet by random evolutionary processes. SoPrabhupada, who decades earlier in this same city had also does the idea that humans of an advanced levelKrishna Voice, Jan 2009 17
  14. 14. of civilization, such as King Iksvaku, lived on this planet hundreds of thousands of years ago. Srila Prabhupada realized that the accounts of life and the universe found in the ancient Vedic texts were in fundamental conflict with the accounts of modern science. His courage in directly addressing this conflict, his refusal to quietly avoid it, represents one of Srila Prabhupadas great contributions. This contribution is especially worthy of remembrance during this year, the one hundredth anniversary of Srila Prabhupadas birth. No Postdated Checks Srila Prabhupada was prepared to give scientists credit for anything they could actually accomplish. But he would not give them credit for assertions they could not practically demonstrate. For example, scientists are fond of asserting that life arose on earth by chemical combination. In response to such claims, Srila Prabhupada argued that no one has observed life arising spontaneously from chemical combination in nature. Nor have scientists produced life by combining chemicals in their laboratories. Faced with protests that great progress has been made and that life would indeed soon be produced in laboratories, Srila Prabhupada refused to accept from materialistic scientists these "postdated checks." Turning from the origin of life to the origin of species, Srila Prabhupada rejected Darwins proposal that one species transforms into another. There is evolution, he said, but it is the evolution of the soul through various forms of life, all created by Krishna. In any city, he reasoned, there are varieties of houses and apartments. According to ones means, one obtains a certain dwelling. Similarly, God has created millions of species, and according to a souls karma the soul occupies first one kind of body, then another. The kinds of bodies, once manifested by the arrangement of the Lord, do not transform. If one species does transform into another, Srila Prabhupada asked, why do we not see this occurring today? In Easy Journey to Other Planets, Prabhupada examined the concept of antimatter. According to nuclear scientists, both matter and antimatter are destructible. But if something were truly antimaterial, said Srila Prabhupada, it should not be subject to destruction, as are the antimaterial particles observed by scientists in their atom smashers. Truly antimaterial entities are described in the Vedas, he went on to say. The soul, for example, is an ever existing particle of consciousness, emanating from the supreme conscious being, Krishna. The Shortcomings of Science According to materialistic science, the soul is a mythological concept. Consciousness is simply the result of chemical interactions in the brain. Srila Prabhupada often challenged this idea. The soul, he proposed, is the source of consciousness. If the soul is present in the body, the body displays consciousness. If the soul leaves the body, consciousness disappears. If, as the materialistic scientists claim, consciousness comes from chemicals, they should demonstrate this by injecting chemicals into a dead body and thus restoring its consciousness. In discussing the origin of the universe, most materialistic scientists favor some version of the "big bang" theory. According to this theory, an infinitely small and dense particle of matter suddenly expanded into the universe as we know it. Srila Prabhupada questioned how such a process could produce all the signs of order and design we can observe in the universe. He upheld the Vedic account of creation, in which creation unfolds under the supervision of the Supreme Lord and subordinate demigods like Brahma. The Vedic universe, quite apart from its origin, differs structurally from the universe depicted by modern science. Many of the structural features of theKrishna Voice, Jan 2009 19
  15. 15. antimaterial activities, he is destroyed materially at the annihilation of the material worlds and is subject to take rebirth in a material shape with the rebirth of a new material universe. In other words, he is subject to the pains of repeated births and deaths. "Only those living entities who take to the loving service of the Personality of Godhead during the manifested stage of material life are undoubtedly transferred to the antimaterial worlds after quitting the material body. Immortality is obtained only by those who return to Godhead by practice of antimaterial activities." Ultimately, Prabhupada opposed the conclusions of materialistic scientists because those conclusions discourage people from taking up antimaterial activities that can deliver one from the cycle of birth and death. Misguided by scientific teachings that deny or downplay the existence of God and the soul, people engage in material activities that keep one in ignorance of ones true spiritual identity and keep one from returning to ones original spiritual home. Recruiting HelpVedic universe, such as Mt. Meru, a huge mountain In 1960, when Srila Prabhupada published Easy Journeyrising from a plane in the center of the universe, simply to Other Planets, he was alone. He would not remainarent visible to modern scientific investigators. But Srila so for long. In 1965 he journeyed to the United States,Prabhupada suggested that there may be much that is arriving in New York, and founded the Internationalbeyond the range of the senses of ordinary humans. To Society for Krishna Consciousness. He trained hisillustrate this point, Prabhupada often repeated the story followers in the basic teachings and practices of devotionof the frog in the well. Because the frog was confined to Krishna. By the 1970s his movement had grownto the well, the frogs perceptions were limited. When considerably, and its activities had become more varied.told of the existence of the ocean, the frog, who hadseen only the small amount of water in his well, could In 1971, Srila Prabhupada began to converse on scientificnot imagine such a thing. topics with Thoudam Damodar Singh, a graduate student in biochemistry who had become attracted toSo beyond pointing out the shortcomings of specific Prabhupadas teachings. The young scientist laterscientific theories about the origin of life and the universe, became a disciple of Srila Prabhupada, and receivedSrila Prabhupada also offered an epistemological critique the name Svarupa Damodara Dasa. In conversationsof the entire scientific method. The scientific method is with Svarupa Damodara and others, Srila Prabhupadaempirical. Citing Vedic sources, Srila Prabhupada outlined his critique of modern science and asked hisobserved that knowledge acquired by empirical methods scientifically trained followers to develop it in infected with four defects: mistakes, cheating, illusion, Svarupa Damodara (now Bhaktisvarupa Damodaraand imperfect senses. Swami) responded positively, and in 1975 he and otherThe best way to acquire knowledge, Srila Prabhupada disciples founded the Bhaktivedanta Institute. Srilasaid, is to accept knowledge from a person beyond the Prabhupada wanted the Institute members to challengedefects of the empirical method. That person is the erroneous scientific teachings and intelligently presentSupreme Lord, who has given us perfect knowledge in the correct Vedic ones.His words, as recorded in the Vedas and transmitted Srila Prabhupadas vision for giving spiritual knowledgeby chains of bona fide spiritual masters. through science was variegated. He wanted membersIn Easy Journey to Other Planets, Srila Prabhupada of the Bhaktivedanta Institute to lecture boldly at collegesrepeats the essence of such true knowledge, given by and universities, stage debates, organize conferences,the Lord Himself: "Lord Krishna instructs that all the set up educational institutions, publish books andplanets within the material universe are destroyed at journals, build museums and planetariums. In histhe end of 4,300,000 ´ 1,000 ´ 2 ´ 30 ´ 12 ´ 100 solar personal exchanges with scientists, sometimes he boldlyyears ... The living entity, however, is constitutionally an challenged, sometimes he manifested tolerance andantimaterial particle. But unless he elevates himself to kindness. As it has not been possible for any singlethe region of the antimaterial worlds by cultivation of follower of Srila Prabhupada to encompass all of his20 Krishna Voice, Jan 2009
  16. 16. moods and strategies, different followers have spread the Gaudiya Vaishnava teachings throughoutconcentrated on different aspects of his vision. But they the world, especially in English. In 1933 Prabhupadaare all acting for one purpose—to carry on Srila became the formal disciple of Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati,Prabhupadas work of establishing the truth about reality and in 1936, the year of Srila Bhaktisiddhantas death,for the welfare of the entire world. Prabhupada received a letter from him renewing his request that Prabhupada teach in the West. In 1965, atIn the Nineteenth century, Indias British rulers offered the age of 69, Prabhupada came to New York City,Western education to Indian intellectuals. The goal was where a year later he started ISKCON, the institutionalto create a cadre of English-speaking and English- vehicle through which the teachings of Gaudiyathinking Indians to assist them in the British program of Vaishnavism were to spread quickly around the world.military, political, economic, religious, and culturaldomination. This educational program successfully Among these teachings are those connected with theinduced many Indian intellectuals to abandon their origin of life and the universe. To scientifically establishtraditional culture and wisdom for Western modes of these teachings, Srila Prabhupada in 1975 organizedscience and theology. the Bhaktivedanta Institute. He envisioned the introduction of Gaudiya Vaishnava teachings on theThe program even made its mark on Gaudiya origin of life and the universe as a direct confrontationVaishnavism, the line of Krishna devotees that traces with prevailing Western scientific ideas, such asback to Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. But in the middle Darwinian evolution.of the nineteenth century, Kedarnatha Dutta (1838-1914), an English-speaking magistrate in the colonial My own involvement in the Bhaktivedanta Institute, asadministration, became interested in Gaudiya a Western convert to Gaudiya Vaishnavism, can thusVaishnavism. After his initiation by a Gaudiya Vaishnava be seen in the historical context of the larger culturalguru, he inaugurated a revival of Gaudiya Vaishnavism interaction between Western science and an Asianamong the intelligent classes, in Bengal and throughout Indian knowledge tradition with vastly different viewsIndia. on natural history.The central goal of Gaudiya Vaishnavism is cultivationof bhakti, or devotion, to Krishna, the SupremePersonality of Godhead. The bhakti school alsoincorporates a strong philosophical tradition, groundedin a literal, yet by no means naive, reading of the Vedicand Puranic texts, including their accounts of historyand cosmogony. Kedarnatha Dutta, later known by thetitle Bhaktivinoda Thakura, communicated GaudiyaVaishnava teachings not only to his Indiancontemporaries but also to the worldwide communityof intellectuals. He reached the latter by publishingseveral works in English, among them Sri ChaitanyaMahaprabhu: His Life and Precepts, which appearedin 1896.In the early twentieth century, Bhaktivinoda Thakurasson Bimala Prasada Dutta, later known asBhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura (1874-1936), carriedon the work of his father, expanding GaudiyaVaishnavism in India and sending a few disciples toEngland and Germany. The European expeditions didnot, however, yield any permanent results, and themissionaries returned home.In 1922, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta SwamiPrabhupada, then known as Abhay Charan De, metBhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati Thakura in Calcutta, India.A recent graduate of Scottish Churches College inCalcutta and a follower of Gandhi, Prabhupada wassomewhat skeptical of this very traditional guru. But hefound himself won over by Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvatissharp intelligence and spiritual purity. At this first meeting,Bhaktisiddhanta Sarasvati requested Prabhupada toKrishna Voice, Jan 2009 21
  17. 17. News from Mangalore The Deities of Sri Krishna and Balarama were offered a new dress and Krishna stood as Giridhari in His special alankara for the occasion.The Lord was offered a variety of special fooditems including a cake replica of GovardhanaHill. To recognize the cow’s service to human society, Go puja celebrations included arati to a cow and her calf. Vidya Dana ISKCON Bangalore initiated the distribution of free note books to government school students. At the inaugural function of this Vidya Dana programme, Sri Ashwath Narayan, (MLA, Mallesh- waram) distributed free note books to students of the Government High School in Malleshwaram. The free note book distribution at that school was sponsored by First Flight couriers.22 Krishna Voice, Jan 2009
  18. 18. Krishna Voice Monthly Magazine, January 2009 Vol10, No.1 Price Rs 15/- Posted on 5th or 10th of the Month at MBC, Manipal, License to post without prepayment No. WPP(CO-8), Reg No. KA/BGGPO 2521/ 2009-11, Registered with Registrar of Newspapers for India under No. RNI 71022/99, Posted at MBC, Manipal, 576104.24